Directions

Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.

Getting to OUR Ecovillage

1565 Baldy Mountain Road, Shawnigan Lake, BC

Depending on where you are coming from, there are plenty of options for travelling to OUR Ecovillage. We’ve tried to provide options for many of them below. Please let us know if you need further clarification. If you wish more information than this Google Map, just scroll down for directions by AIR, TRAIN, COACHLINE or BOAT, as well as: Public Transit Directions From:

  • Downtown Vancouver
  • YVR (Vancouver International Airport)
  • YYJ (Victoria International Airport)
  • SEA (Seattle International Airport)
  • BLI (Bellingham International Airport)
  • Downtown Victoria
  • Elsewhere on the Island

Driving Directions From:

  • North of Mill Bay (Duncan, Nanaimo, etc.)
  • South of Mill Bay (Victoria, etc.)

 

GOOGLE MAPS


 

SPECIFIC TRAVEL OPTIONS

BY AIR:
The closest fairly well-accessed international airport to OUR is Victoria International Airport (YYJ, www.victoriaairport.com), which is served by flights to and from Abbotsford, Calgary, Cancun, Edmonton, Honolulu, Kelowna, Las Vegas, Los Cabos, Nanaimo, Pheonix, Puerta Vallarta, San Francisco, Seattle, Tofino, Toronto, and Vancouver. You may also fly into Nanaimo airport (YCD, http://nanaimoairport.com), which is a smaller regional airport with flights from places such as Vancouver, Victoria, and Abbotsford. Guests arriving from overseas are most likely to find direct flights or less expensive tickets from their home airport to either Vancouver International Airport (YVR, www.yvr.ca), or Seattle Tacoma International Airport (SEA www.portseattle.org/Sea-Tac/Pages/default.aspx). Read below for ground transportation options to complete your journey. Passengers flying domestically within the US may find it more economical to fly into Bellingham International Airport (BLI www.portofbellingham.com/index.aspx?nid=82) and travel north on ground or water transport, as domestic US flights, especially on discount carriers such as Allegiant, can be much cheaper than international flights to Canada. For example, a June, 2013 flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to this area, would cost $307.00 flying into Bellingham (direct) or $520 flying into Victoria (with a stopover), depending on airport: Even factoring in additional travel costs to complete the trip to Shawnigan, flying to an alternate airport can be more economical.

LOOKING FOR FLIGHTS?
www.kayak.com aggregates flight data from many major websites and carriers and allows you to search for 3 days before or after your desired dates, in case there happens to be a seat sale just around the corner. Also search for nearby airports or specify only non-stop flight options. A powerful website that often finds the best price. www.studentuniverse.com offers great deals for students, but also extends some of their flight and travel discounts to youth under 25. Either way, you need to verify your status but the extra step can be worth the savings!

BY TRAIN:
Unfortunately, the many rail lines we used to have on Vancouver Island are, for all intents and purposes, out of service. That said, Vancouver is well-served by North America’s train networks and it is quite easy to travel to the island from Vancouver by other means. Travelling from within Canada, Via Rail is our main service provider, with main routes running from Vancouver to Toronto and then East to Halifax. Check www.viarail.com for ticket prices, schedules, and routes. US rail giant Amtrak winds up in Vancouver via Portland and Seattle, but has routes originating from all across the mainland US. Visit www.amtrak.com to find out more.

BY COACHLINE:
Greyhound (www.greyhound.ca) has service to nearby Cobble Hill and Mill Bay as well as Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo, all from points originating across North America. For a no frills but inexpensive way to get to Vancouver from Bellingham, Seattle, or Portland, consider Greyhound subsidiary Bolt Bus, which is always cheap but runs some incredible deals if you book early enough. For example, a June 2013 search found a one-way ticket from Seattle to Vancouver for $2.00 just a couple of weeks later. Other perks include free Wi-Fi, extra legroom, and fares as low as $1.00 on all routes. www.boltbus.com

BY BOAT:
Vancouver Island is served by four major ferry companies, three from the US and one from mainland Canada. From Vancouver: BC Ferries serves the Island with trips from Tsawassen Ferry Terminal (south of Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (north of Victoria) every two hours from 7am–9pm (hourly during the summer holidays and on peak holiday weekends). You can also sail from Tsawassen to Duke Point (Nanaimo, 1.5 hours north of us), 6–8 times a day, depending on the day of the week. Coming from north of Vancouver, you can take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay (North Vancouver) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo) 8–14 times a day, depending on volume. The above ferries are large car and passenger ferries with multiple food service options. www.bcferries.com

FROM PORT ANGELES:
The Coho, operated by Black Ball ferries, travels between Port Angeles and downtown Victoria, with schedules varying depending on season. The large car ferry offers several amenities for the 90-minute trip. www.cohoferry.com From Anacortes: The Washington State Ferries offers a twice-daily sailing from Anacortes Washington, to Sidney, BC, via Friday Harbor. The large car and passenger ferry offers food and other amenities and runs seasonally in the warmer months. Check the website for details. www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries/ From Seattle: Provided you are travelling on foot, the Clipper provides a high-speed passenger-only ferry service from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria once or twice a day, depending on the season. http://www.clippervacations.com Local Public Transit Directions: Once you’ve made it to a major hub (Seattle, Bellingham, Vancouver, Victoria, Nanaimo), how do you get to us?

FROM SEATTLE INT’L AIRPORT:
The Quick Shuttle (www.quickcoach.com) departs SeaTac Airport 5–7 times a day, arriving at River Rock Casino in Vancouver approximately four hours later. The casino complex is attached to a major Translink bus depot. Make your way to the bus loop. Ask for bus 620 Tsawassen (or look for all the travellers!) The bus leaves just before the hour, arriving approximately 40 minutes later, but in time to get that hour’s ferry. For example, a 9:55am departure from Bridgeport would have you on the 11am ferry. Some express buses are available. Walk on the ferry to Swartz Bay (approximate sailing time 1 hour 35 minutes) and take BC Transit buses to the Brentwood Bay Ferry terminal (Take the 70 or 72 to Saanichton Exchange and transfer to the 75, getting off at 7150 block Brentwood Bay. You will have to walk about 400 metres to the Brentwood Ferry terminal.) Take the ferry to Mill Bay (www.bcferries.com, last ferry is at 5:55pm) and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours.

FROM BELLINGHAM INT’L AIRPORT:
The Quick Shuttle (www.quickcoach.com) departs BLI 5–7 times a day, arriving at River Rock Casino in Vancouver approximately 1.5–2 hours later. Please note 24-hour notice is required for the bus to pick you up. The casino complex is attached to a major Translink bus depot. Make your way the bus loop. Ask for bus 620 Tsawassen (or look for all the travellers!) The bus leaves just before the hour, arriving approximately 40 minutes later, but in time to get that hour’s ferry. For example, a 9:55am departure from Bridgeport would have you on the 11am ferry. Some express buses are available. Walk on the ferry to Swartz Bay (approximate sailing time 1 hour 35 minutes) and take BC Transit buses to the Brentwood Bay Ferry terminal (Take the 70 or 72 to Saanichton Exchange and transfer to the 75, getting off at 7150 block Brentwood Bay. You will have to walk about 400 metres to the Brentwood Ferry terminal.) Take the ferry to Mill Bay (www.bcferries.com, last ferry is at 5:55pm) and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours.

FROM VANCOUVER INT’L AIRPORT:
(YVR) Take the Skytrain light rail system (station is outside arrivals terminal) towards downtown. Get off at Bridgeport Station and walk down the stairs to the bus loop. Ask for bus 620 Tsawassen (or look for all the travellers!) The bus leaves just before the hour, arriving approximately 40 minutes later, but in time to get that hour’s ferry. For example, a 9:55am departure from Bridgeport would have you on the 11am ferry. Some express busses are available. Walk on the ferry to Swartz Bay (approximate sailing time 1 hour 35 minutes) and take BC Transit buses to the Brentwood Bay Ferry terminal (Take the 70 or 72 to Saanichton Exchange and transfer to the 75, getting off at 7150 block Brentwood Bay. You will have to walk about 400 metres to the Brentwood Ferry terminal.) Take the ferry to Mill Bay (www.bcferries.com, last ferry is at 5:55pm) and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours. OR Take a Pacific Coachlines bus from YVR to Victoria. Tickets are available at the airport from the large desk by the international arrivals area, and the bus will drive you on to the ferry and all the way to downtown Victoria (www.pacificcoach.com). From downtown Victoria, take BC Transit bus 99 to Mill Bay and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours. NB: as of June, 2013, bus 99 leaves Victoria only twice a day, at around 3:40 and 4:40pm.

FROM DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER:
(arriving via Bolt Bus, Amtrak, Via, etc). Take the Skytrain light rail system towards YVR or Richmond-Brighouse (if you aren’t near a Skytrain station, any bus driver will be able to help you plan a route). Get off at Bridgeport Station and walk down the stairs to the bus loop. Ask for bus 620 Tsawassen (or look for all the travellers!) The bus leaves just before the hour, arriving approximately 40 minutes later, but in time to get that hour’s ferry. For example, a 9:55am departure from Bridgeport would have you on the 11am ferry. Some express busses are available. Walk on the ferry to Swartz Bay (approximate sailing time 1 hour 35 minutes) and take BC Transit buses to the Brentwood Bay Ferry terminal (Take the 70 or 72 to Saanichton Exchange and transfer to the 75, getting off at 7150 block Brentwood Bay. You will have to walk about 400 metres to the Brentwood Ferry terminal.) Take the ferry to Mill Bay (www.bcferries.com, last ferry is at 5:55pm) and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours. Most of Vancouver Island is pretty well served by buses on BC Transit. While some instructions are listed below, please visit www.bctransit.com for further route information, or try the fantastic directions on maps.google.com.

FROM VICTORIA INT’L AIRPORT:
Take BC Transit bus 83 from the airport to westbound Verdier FS Keally and walk to the Brentwood Bay ferry terminal. Take the ferry to Mill Bay (www.bcferries.com, last ferry is at 5:55pm) and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours. Alternate BC Transit bus route from the airport to Brentwood Bay ferry terminal: Take the 88 to McTavish Exchange and transfer to the 72 to downtown. Get off at Saanichton Exchange and take the 75 towards Royal Oak/Downtown. Get off at 7150 block Brentwood and walk to the terminal.

FROM DOWNTOWN VICTORIA:
Take the Greyhound to Mill Bay or Cobble Hill, or BC Transit bus 99 to Mill Bay, and call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours.

FROM OTHER LOCATIONS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND:
(Nanaimo, Campbell River, etc.) The Island Link bus company provides fairly extensive bus service between towns on Vancouver Island, linking Mill Bay with many other communities. Visit their website to find out more or make a booking. www.islandlinkbus.com. Once in Mill Bay, call us at 1-250-743-3067 to arrange a pickup. Office hours are 9am–4pm Monday to Friday; please try to arrange a pick up in advance if you will be arriving outside office hours.

LOCAL DRIVING DIRECTIONS:
Driving from the South (Victoria) Leaving Victoria, Douglas St becomes Hwy 1/Malahat. Follow signs to Duncan or Nanaimo. Drive 41 km/40 minutes. Just after you come over the Malahat, look out for Mill Bay, which has a Co-op gas station and a big shopping plaza on the right, and A&W, McDonalds, and Tim Hortons in a small plaza on the left. Go through those lights, and at the next set of lights, turn left onto Shawnigan/Mill Bay Road. Drive 3.5km/5 minutes to Sylvester Road. Look for big orange circular saw blade sign that says “McArthurs Sawmill” on the left on a pole. Turn left on Sylvester. Drive 1.3 km/2 minutes, turn right on Baldy Mountain Road. Slow down at postal boxes on the right. Turn right at 1565 (orange fence) and take driveway all the way down to the Healing Sanctuary, which is at the bottom of the driveway, behind a small pond. Park and walk up the hill to the office (go up the left fork of the driveway). Ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction.

DRIVING FROM THE NORTH:
(Nanaimo/Duncan/Crofton Ferry) Drive south on Hwy 1. As you’re arriving into Mill Bay, yield off to the right onto Shawnigan/Mill Bay Road. If you reach an intersection with a large Co-Op gas station, plaza, and McDonalds, you’ve gone one set of lights too far. Drive 3.5km/5 minutes to Sylvester Road. While on Shawnigan-Mill Bay Road you will go past Kerry Park Arena and come under a major power line. Look for the next road on your left hand side with a big orange circular saw blade sign that says “McArthurs” on the left on a pole. Turn left on Sylvester. Drive 1.3 km/2 minutes, turn right on Baldy Mountain Road. Slow down at postal boxes on the right. Turn right at 1565 (orange fence) and take driveway all the way down to the Healing Sanctuary, which is at the bottom of the driveway, behind a small pond. Park and walk up the hill to the office (go up the left fork of the driveway). Ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction.

DRIVING FROM COBBLE HILL AREA:
Drive south on Shawnigan Lake Road. Turn left onto McKernan Rd. Turn right onto Galland Rd. Take the 2nd left onto Baldy Mountain Rd. Drive approximately 1 km and turn left at 1565 (orange fence) and take driveway all the way down to the Healing Sanctuary, which is at the bottom of the driveway, behind a small pond. Park and walk up the hill to the office (go up the left fork of the driveway). Ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction.

DRIVING FROM SHAWNIGAN LAKE VILLAGE:
Go East on Shawnigan/Mill Bay Road.  Slow down when you’ve passed Countryside Place on your right. Keep looking to the left side for Sylvester Road street sign. It is immediately across from Sylvester Road. Turn right. Drive 1.3 km/2 minutes, turn right on Baldy Mountain.  Slow down at postal boxes on the right. Turn right at 1565 (brown fence) and take driveway all the way down to the Healing Sanctuary, which is at the bottom of the driveway, behind a small pond. Park and walk up the hill to the office (go up the left fork of the driveway). Ask anyone and they will point you in the right direction.

HITCHHIKING:
Hitchhiking on our part of the island is fairly common and generally quite safe, though of course use your judgment. You may have good luck getting to us from the Mill Bay ferry and surrounding areas if that’s within your comfort level and interest. Important addresses: OUR Ecovillage: 1565 Baldy Mountain Road, Shawnigan Lake BC, V0R2W2 Greyhound Station in Victoria: 700 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8W2B3 (Corner of Douglas and Belleville Streets, across from Old Spaghetti Factory and Thunderbird Park) BC Transit bus stop in Victoria: The 99 to Mill Bay/Shawnigan stops at Government and Superior (behind the Parliament Buildings)

LOCAL TRANSIT INFORMATION:
Shawnigan Lake Online

DOWNLOADABLE PDF:
Getting-to-OUR-ECOVILLAGE


Permaculture. Sustainable Food Production. Natural Building. Education. Community.